Press Releases

Klobuchar Holds Joint Economic Committee Hearing on the Role of Women in Manufacturing

May 15 2013

Klobuchar released a new report yesterday showing U.S. manufacturers have added over 500,000 jobs in recent years, creating new opportunities for women in the industry

Klobuchar called for an increased focus on science, math, and technology education and workforce training to help more women break into the growing industry

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), today held a hearing examining the role of women in American manufacturing. Today’s hearing comes on the heels of a report Klobuchar released yesterday, which found that the U.S. manufacturing industry grew by 530,000 jobs between February 2010 and April 2013, creating new opportunities for women in the field. Klobuchar called for an increased focus on science, math, and technology education and workforce training to help more women break into the growing industry.

"Manufacturing has been one of the bright spots in our economic recovery and we need to be sure the industry can access the full talent and ingenuity of America's workforce,” Klobuchar said. “From boosting science and technology education in the classroom to strengthening workforce training programs, we must do more to encourage talented young people—both men and women—to pursue careers in manufacturing and keep this critical sector moving forward."
 
According to the report Klobuchar released yesterday, women currently make up 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce, indicating there is room for more women to take advantage of the career opportunities and high-wage jobs the industry provides.

In today’s hearing, Klobuchar emphasized the need for new strategies to bring more women into the manufacturing field, beginning with a renewed push to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in schools. Klobuchar also called for a greater focus on real-world skills training at vocational schools and community colleges, as well as an increased effort to boost retention rates for women in manufacturing by encouraging more employers to develop women’s mentorship programs.

Klobuchar has long called for an increased focus on ensuring that students gain valuable skills in science, technology, engineering and math at an early age. She has introduced legislation to double the number of STEM schools in America and added an amendment to the immigration bill currently in the Senate that would fund STEM education by increasing visa fees.

Klobuchar has also promoted policies that will strengthen manufacturing, including incentivizing research and development and simplifying the tax code to give businesses clarity and consistency. Klobuchar is a member of the President’s Export Council, which is the primary national advisory committee on exports. 

Witnesses at today’s hearing included Jennifer McNelly, President of the Manufacturing Institute; Darlene Miller, President and CEO of Permac Industries; and Amy Jolley, Vice President – Tax at Noble Energy, Inc.

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